Ohioans bet billions on sports in 2023
It's official: Ohio is full of sports nuts willing to put a lot of money on the line.
Why it matters: Ohioans have been doing that under the table for decades, but the first full year of legal sports betting shows our authentic appetite for action.
- That's a whopping $878 for every Ohioan above the legal betting age of 21.
- Sportsbooks raked in over $900 million in revenue, though they also offered hundreds of millions in "promotional" bets to entice new players.
The big picture: Ohio's 2023 betting total is the sixth highest out of 38 states with legal betting programs, according to PlayOhio, a website that reports on and promotes sports betting.
- We're behind just New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
Yes, but: Online platforms dominate. Around 97% of all sports bets were placed via apps like FanDuel and DraftKings, amounting to $7.4 billion in digital wagers.
- Another $221 million was bet inside casinos and other retail sportsbooks, while $13 million was bet using lottery kiosks.
Between the lines: Betting followed the sports calendar.
- Wagers lagged during the quieter summer months, then picked back up again in September when pro and college football resumed.
The intrigue: The state collected $133 million in tax revenue from bets placed last year, enjoying a boost midway through the year when lawmakers doubled the tax rate on operators to 20%.
- Most of the revenue (98%) funds K-12 education, with the rest supporting gambling addiction services.
What we're watching: How Ohio sports betting will fare in year two.
- The initial marketing surge has waned, but most states actually see a small boost in the second year, with a player pool comfortably established, PlayOhio managing editor Steven Schult tells us.
- Schult expects Ohio to crack the top five states in betting this year.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the legal betting age in Ohio is 21 (not 18), and that the amount Ohioans bet in a year amounted to $878 per person (not $832).
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